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Review of the Canon T3 12.2MP DSLR

Updated on November 12, 2014

Recently, my Canon Digital Rebel T1 8MP DSLR got water damaged and stopped working. I've owned that camera for about six years and it was already a year old when I bought it. So, I needed to get a new camera and loved the Canon digital photography line of products. I've seen the new 18MP cameras in the store and considered getting one of those, but I felt that the price range was a bit high for me even though it was still a reasonable price, overall. Also, the ones I saw in the store came with lenses and I didn't need new lenses.

So, I went with this 12.2 Canon T3 DSLR, instead. It's a model that came out a few years ago, but is still available new and comes with a warranty. As far as I can tell, it does everything that the 18MP camera does, but doesn't have as high definition as the newer model. I was already pretty satisfied with my 8MP model and felt that this camera would be at least as good. The price was very reasonable, too, about as much as I paid for my 8MP camera way back then.

This particular camera only comes with the body. I like buying just the body of the camera because I like to customize my photography outfit with my own special lenses geared to what I like to take pictures of. Most of these cameras are sold by other stores, but fulfilled by Amazon, so you get the same guarantees as if you were buying from Amazon directly. The camera arrived in good condition and all my old DSLR lenses that fit the old camera fit on this camera as well. I didn't have to buy any new equipment at all.

One thing that is brand new to me is that this camera takes HD videos as my old camera didn't do that. I haven't gotten the knack of doing videos, yet. I use long lenses and unless I have a tripod, I get some shakiness. I will post a couple of the videos I took with the camera below. You can buy image stabilizing lenses that might help. I haven't tried doing videos with shorter lenses, yet. The downside is that they are done as MOV files which can't be edited by older versions of MovieMaker unless they get converted to another format. I find that I lose some of the quality when I have to do that. Newer versions of Windows may have a version of MovieMaker that has (or can be updated to) the new codecs that can covert these files. Any program that can play or edit Quicktime videos may be able to work with these files.

This camera is lighter and quieter than my old camera. I've also found that the shutter speeds can go a bit higher than the old camera, but, of course, that is restricted to how fast your lenses are. The photo quality is at least as good or a bit better than my older camera. Also, they are larger, which means I have more ability to crop than I did before. One thing I don't like about this camera, compared to my older camera, is that it only comes in black. I use my camera a lot and I have found that black parts of my old silver and black camera wore off. So far, I haven't had any problem with fade or wear on this new camera, but I haven't had it long.

This camera would be great for anyone just starting with DSLR photography, or someone who has been doing it for a while but doesn't want to carry around an expensive camera.

Samples taken from the camera posted below.

The first set is of photos of birds that I've taken with this camera, mostly done at medium to low light. Some samples of videos can be seen below that. All those photos and videos were taken by me and may not be used without my permission.

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bewick's wrenDunlinWestern sandpipers, flyingWestern sandpipers, landingStilts and avocets
Bewick's wren
Bewick's wren
Dunlin
Dunlin
Western sandpipers, flying
Western sandpipers, flying
Western sandpipers, landing
Western sandpipers, landing
Stilts and avocets
Stilts and avocets

Here are a couple of videos I took with this camera. Like I said, I am VERY new to doing any type of videos, especially with a DSLR and a long lens, so it may be shaky. Youtube helped me smooth this out a bit. Also, these were uploaded to Youtube after being converted to WMV, so the quality is not quite as good as the original MOV files. Also, I saved it at less than optimal quality, which can also make a difference. Tripods help with shooting with a long lens and there are image stabilizing (IS) lenses available if you need to get a rock-steady video.

Videos taken with a shorter lens may be less shaky.

All videos where done with a 70-300mm non-IS lens.

Baby blue was a dumped duckling at Lake Murray. I didn't use any tripods or anything else.

I used a tripod for this one, but I had a few problems with it slanting and sticking.

This was one of my first videos taken with this camera, so it is more shaky that it should be. I handheld the camera for this one.

I've picked out some accessories for this camera in case you don't have any of them. This camera fits EF and EF-S digital Canon lenses. I've also found other non-Canon brands of lenses that will fit as long as they have that EF or EF-S mount. The camera also comes with a flash and tripod mount. And, it has a connection for remote shooting.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens - Fixed (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens - Fixed (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

I live 50mm lenses for general, all around photography. For wildlife or bird photography, you may need a zoom or longer lens.

 
Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card Up to 30MB/s (TS16GSDHC10E)
Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card Up to 30MB/s (TS16GSDHC10E)

This camera takes an SD card. This is the one I use and it has a lot of room.

 

Update!

I still have this camera and it's working great! I really like the larger format compared to what i had before. I'm not 100% sure about the video feature as you have to look through the screen on the back of the camera rather than the viewfinder. I think that's a mistake. It's sometimes hard to see when the light is bright.

Do you have any questions about this camera? Please post so here.

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    • Shorebirdie profile imageAUTHOR

      Shorebirdie 

      4 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thanks RonElFran. I really enjoy having this camera.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      4 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I'm not quite ready to spend the money for a DSLR yet. But pics like your wren photo far outshine what my current camera can do. Like a window shopper, I enjoyed reading your review.

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